Air Fryer Chicken Croquettes: Crispy Snack w/ Leftovers!

These air fryer chicken croquettes are the perfect recipe for using up leftover chicken, turning it into something new and delicious. They’re air fried for a browned and crispy exterior, with seasoned chicken and a melted cheese center. Enjoy them for a snack or appetizer anytime!

air fryer chicken croquettes recipe dinners done quick featured image

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Croquettes are of French origin, but you’ll find that many others have influenced this crispy snack over the years. A croquette consists of meat, vegetables, and seasonings, with a binder such as a roux, and then it’s breaded and fried (or in this case, air fried).

The result is a golden brown crust around a moist, creamy, and flavorful interior! Croquettes work with a lot of different meats and binders, making it an easy way to use up leftovers from something else you’ve cooked.

Croquettes make a perfect snack or appetizer, so you can turn last night’s dinner into your game day snack the following day! They’re also great for the holidays and New Year’s to make entertaining a little easier.

splitting apart an air fryer chicken croquette with a gooey cheese pull

Looking for some other flavor options? Check out my Reuben Croquettes (perfect for St Patrick’s leftovers) or Ham Croquettes in the Air Fryer (for Christmas and Easter)!

Ingredients List

ingredients to make air fryer chicken croquettes
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (chopped or shredded)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk (or half and half)
  • ½ tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • ½ tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes (optional)

For the Breading

  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs

Ingredient Tips and Substitutions

  • You can use any type of cooked chicken you like – ground, shredded, or even canned. Leftover meatballs ground up work too! I like to use a food processor to chop it up finely
  • This recipe uses a roux (mixture of butter and flour) for the binder, as is traditional. If you don’t have a stove to make the roux, you can use an egg + about ¼ cup of breadcrumbs, or use about 1 cup of leftover prepared mashed potatoes instead! Note the interior texture will be slightly different with each option
  • All seasonings are adjustable to taste (or omittable if you don’t like something). Chives and dill are other good options in place of the parsley
  • Stuffing with cheese is entirely optional, but I think it adds a fun touch! I like mozzarella with chicken croquettes, but you can use your favorite

Step By Step Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for about 1 minute, until thickened
melt butter and add flour to a saucepan
  1. Slowly add in your milk or half and half, stirring constantly to incorporate. Cook for about 5 minutes, until it starts to thicken (if you pull a spoon across the pan, it should take a few seconds to fill in)
slowly add milk to the saucepan and stir to incorporate
  1. Remove from heat. Add in all seasonings and cooked chicken and stir to combine, then set aside to cool (20-30 minutes in the refrigerator is ideal to make it easier to handle)
add seasoning and chicken to your saucepan mixture
  1. Prepare a dredging station (use shallow bowls or plates) of flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs. I season each with a little salt and pepper
prepare a dredging station of flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs
  1. Start with about 1 ½ Tbsp of your cooled chicken mixture. Push a block of cheese into the center of it, and then form a ball or cylinder shape around the cheese (I prefer a cylinder for croquettes). If the mixture is too soft, chill it for longer
place a block of cheese in your chicken mixture and form small logs
  1. Roll your croquette into the flour, then the eggs, and then finally in the panko breadcrumbs, making sure to coat it well through every step
roll your chicken croquette through the flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs
  1. Place coated croquettes into your air fryer’s basket or rack in a single layer, with a little air space between them, then spray the tops with a little oil spray (I use olive oil)
place chicken croquettes in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting at 400°F for 10 minutes, pausing halfway through to flip the croquettes and reapply oil, or until they are golden brown
  2. Cool for a minute or two to make transferring them easier. Serve hot, with dipping sauce if desired (I like Dijon mustard)
overhead view of air fryer chicken croquettes stacked on a plate

What to Serve With Chicken Croquettes

Dipping Sauces

  • White gravy
  • Brown gravy
  • Dijon mustard
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Red pepper sauce
  • Bechamel sauce
  • Spinach artichoke dip
  • Remoulade
  • Garlic aioli

Side Dishes

  • Green salad
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Halloumi
  • Sauerkraut
  • French fries
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scalloped potatoes

Try my Air Fryer Halloumi Fries or Air Fryer Frozen Peas for some simple side options!

Drinks

  • Rioja 
  • Chardonnay
  • Rose
  • Manhattan cocktail

How about a Cherry French 75 or a Chocolate Cherry Mule to go with your chicken croquettes?

Recipe FAQs

Can I Use Leftover Chicken for This Recipe?

Yes, using leftover cooked chicken is a great way to make these croquettes. Shred the chicken and proceed with the recipe.

It also works with ground chicken, such as leftover meatballs, or canned chicken as well. Make sure to shred it finely for best results.

What Dipping Sauces Pair Well with Chicken Croquettes?

Chicken croquettes go well with various sauces like garlic aioli, spicy mayo, or a tangy mustard.

Experiment to find your favorite!

How Long Do I Air Fry Chicken Croquettes, and at What Temperature?

Air fry chicken croquettes at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning them halfway through for even cooking.

Typically, time needed varies between air fryers, so add additional time as needed to achieve the desired level of exterior browning.

Can I Freeze Chicken Croquettes Before Air Frying?

Yes, you can freeze the croquettes before air frying. Place them on a tray to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag for convenient storage.

If you are cooking from frozen, add about 5 minutes to cooking time to account for the colder starting temperature.

Can I Bake These Chicken Croquettes in a Traditional Oven?

Yes, you can bake them in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

However, note that they will not get as crispy of an exterior texture as they do when air frying.

Are Chicken Croquettes Suitable for a Party or Gathering?

Absolutely! Chicken croquettes make a delicious and convenient party snack. To cut down on prep time, make them in advance and reheat in the air fry just before serving.

They can also be frozen and heated from their frozen state, if you’d like to prepare them even farther out (or to preserve leftover chicken nearing its expiration).

How Can I Add My Own Twist to the Chicken Croquettes Recipe?

Get creative with the seasoning or add ingredients like diced vegetables, herbs, or different cheeses to customize the flavor to your liking.

Some common additions are onions, peppers, celery, chives, dill, paprika, or chili powder for some heat.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Since this recipe uses a roux binder, you get an ultra-creamy inside to these croquettes. Be careful when flipping them, as they will soften a bit during cooking!
  • I made mine in a Ninja Air Fryer and they were perfectly browned after 10 minutes, without preheating. Other air fryers may vary in terms of needed time, so add extra time in 1-minute increments as needed to achieve the desired level of browning
  • This recipe makes about 16 log-shaped croquettes. However, if you make a different size or shape, your total quantity may vary
closeup view of air fryer chicken croquettes on a plate of greens

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Store leftover chicken croquettes (once cooled) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. For longer term storage, freeze individually on a baking sheet, then pile them into a bag and store for 2-3 months
  • To reheat chicken croquettes, air fry at 350°F for about 5 minutes, until warmed through and re-crisped. Exact time may vary by air fryer and thickness of your specific croquettes. If reheating from frozen, add an additional 3-4 minutes to account for the frozen state

More Air Fryer Breaded Appetizer Recipes

Final Thoughts

These amazing air fryer chicken croquettes feature a crispy, browned exterior with an ultra creamy flavorful interior. While they do take a little bit of time to prepare, they cook up in only about 10 minutes!

It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken you have on hand, and turn it into a snack or appetizer perfect for game day, holidays, or anytime. Plus, you can always assemble them in advance and then just heat them when you’re ready to enjoy!

Serve with your favorite dipping sauces (I like Dijon mustard personally) and feel free to add some sides to make it a light meal! Croquettes pair well with soup, salad, and other appetizers to complete your spread.

air fryer chicken croquettes recipe dinners done quick featured image

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Croquettes

Air fryer chicken croquettes are crispy outside and creamy on the inside thanks to a classic roux. They’re perfect for a snack or appetizer, and a great way to repurpose leftover chicken!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, French
Servings 8
Calories 213 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Cups cooked chicken (finely chopped or shredded)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 Cup milk (or half and half)
  • ½ Tsp salt (or to taste)
  • ½ Tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 Tsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes or strips (optional)

For the Breading

  • Cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 ½ Cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil spray (or similar)

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for about 1 minute, until thickened
    3 Tbsp butter, 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • Slowly add in your milk or half and half, stirring constantly to incorporate. Cook for about 5 minutes, until it starts to thicken (if you pull a spoon across the pan, it should take a few seconds to fill in)
    1 Cup milk
  • Remove from heat. Add in all seasonings and cooked chicken and stir to combine, then set aside to cool (20-30 minutes in the refrigerator is ideal to make it easier to handle)
    2 Cups cooked chicken, ½ Tsp salt, ½ Tsp black pepper, 1 Tsp dried parsley, 1 Tsp onion powder, 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • Prepare a dredging station (use shallow bowls or plates) of flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs. I season each with a little salt and pepper
    ⅓ Cup all purpose flour, 2 Large eggs, 1 ½ Cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Start with about 1 ½ Tbsp of your cooled chicken mixture. Push a block of cheese into the center of it, and then form a ball or cylinder shape around the cheese (I prefer a cylinder for croquettes). If the mixture is too soft, chill it for longer
    2 Ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes or strips
  • Roll your croquette into the flour, then the eggs, and then finally in the panko breadcrumbs, making sure to coat it well through every step
  • Place coated croquettes into your air fryer’s basket or rack in a single layer, with a little air space between them, then spray the tops with a little oil spray
    Olive oil spray
  • Cook on the air fry setting at 400°F for 10 minutes, pausing halfway through to flip the croquettes and reapply oil, or until they are golden brown
  • Cool for a minute or two to make transferring them easier. Serve hot, with dipping sauce if desired (I like Dijon mustard)

Notes

  • You can use any type of cooked chicken you like – ground, shredded, or even canned. Leftover meatballs ground up work too! I like to use a food processor to chop it up finely
  • This recipe uses a roux (mixture of butter and flour) for the binder, as is traditional. If you don’t have a stove to make the roux, you can use an egg + about ¼ cup of breadcrumbs, or use about 1 cup of leftover prepared mashed potatoes instead! Note the interior texture will be slightly different with each option
  • All seasonings are adjustable to taste (or omittable if you don’t like something). Chives and dill are other good options in place of the parsley
  • Stuffing with cheese is entirely optional, but I think it adds a fun touch! I like mozzarella with chicken croquettes, but you can use your favorite
  • Be careful when flipping them, as they will soften a bit during cooking (but that’s what makes them oh so creamy and delicious)!
  • I made mine in a Ninja Air Fryer and they were perfectly browned after 10 minutes, without preheating. Other air fryers may vary in terms of needed time, so add extra time in 1-minute increments as needed to achieve the desired level of browning
  • This recipe makes about 16 log-shaped croquettes. However, if you make a different size or shape, your total quantity may vary
  • Store leftover chicken croquettes (once cooled) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. For longer term storage, freeze individually on a baking sheet, then pile them into a bag and store for 2-3 months
  • To reheat chicken croquettes, air fry at 350°F for about 5 minutes, until warmed through and re-crisped. Exact time may vary by air fryer and thickness of your specific croquettes. If reheating from frozen, add an additional 3-4 minutes to account for the frozen state
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand of ingredients, size of croquettes, any sauces or sides added, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 109gCalories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 15gFat: 9.6gSaturated Fat: 4.8gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 366mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 1.8gVitamin A: 316.5IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 1mg
Keyword air fryer appetizers, air fryer chicken croquettes, appetizers with shredded chicken, breaded chicken snacks, chickens croquettes recipe, homemade chicken croquettes, ninja air fryer chicken croquettes, party finger foods
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air fryer chicken croquettes recipe dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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